5-Ingredient Homemade Steamed Buns


  • 267ml / 1 cup and 2 tbsp Warm Water
  • 3.75g / 1 ¼ tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 500g / 4 cups and 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour, extra for dusting
  • 35g / 2 ½ tbsp Sugar
  • 7ml / ½ tbsp Vegetable Oil
  1. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water. The water should be warm but not too hot that you couldn’t stick your finger in. Then, stir in active dry yeast and let it sit for at least 2 minutes. You will see some foams forming at the top. Please start over with new yeast if you don’t see any foaming. 
  1. Add all-purpose flour to the mixing bowl in small batches. Be sure to continually mix. 
  1. Drizzle in the vegetable oil. Mix your dough until all the ingredients incorporate. You will see the dough start to form when you see the sides of the bowl are sticking to the dough. 
  1. Transfer your dough ball onto a lightly floured surface. Start kneading your dough for 10 minutes until you get a smooth and uniform ball. Let your dough rest while covered with a damp cloth for 5 minutes. Only use enough flour to prevent any major sticking to the work surface. I would also recommend having a water spray bottle nearby if your dough gets too dry. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer with a hook attachment for 5 minutes. 
  1. While waiting for your dough to rest, cut out parchment paper into squares of 5cm by 5 cm or 2 inches by 2 inches. This would line the bottom of your steamed buns. It prevents any sticking to the steamer basket. 
homemade steamed buns
It doesn’t have to be a perfect rectangle.

Now, it’s time to roll out and cut the individual steam buns! First, roll out your dough into a large rectangle of 30cm by 20 cm. Fold each ⅓ end of your rectangle inwards, on top of each other. This will form layers in your steamed bun. Repeat this step 3-4 times to create layers. (Watch Inga’s video to not be confused haha)

homemade steamed buns
Imagine dividing your rectangle into thirds and fold inwards.
homemade steamed buns
  1. Finally, roll out into a large rectangle of 30 cm by 20 cm again. Brush a layer of water with a pastry brush. Grab one end of the long side of the rectangle and start rolling tightly.
  1. With a sharp knife and a ruler, cut out small pieces of 4cm or 1 ½ inches. Place each bun on a square parchment paper
  1. Transfer the buns with parchment paper into your steamer basket over lukewarm water. Be sure to spread it out because the buns will expand as they proof. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes.
homemade steamed buns
homemade steamed buns
  1. Pour out the lukewarm water and fill with cold tap water. Steam the buns over high heat for 15 minutes.
  1. After 15 minutes, switch off the heat but let the steamed buns sit. Don’t open the lid. When the steamer basket has cooled down, you can remove the steamed buns and enjoy!

Original recipe from Inga Lam

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